Ensuring Quality in Cross-Border Higher Education

Implementing the UNESCO/OECD Guidelines

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In the past decade, many countries have designed explicit internationalisation policies for their higher education systems, acknowledging the benefits of international exposure to prepare students for a globalising economy as well as the many opportunities of cross-border mobility for innovation, improvement and capacity development in higher education and in the economy.

Cases of fraud and opportunistic behaviour have shown that these promises come with risks for students and other tertiary education stakeholders though. It is precisely to help all stakeholders to minimise these risks and strengthen the dynamics of openness, collaboration and transparency across countries that UNESCO and OECD jointly developed the Guidelines for Quality Provision in Cross-Border Higher Education.

This book monitors the extent to which tertiary education stakeholders complied with the Guidelines in 2014. It will be of interest to policy makers, leaders of tertiary education institutions and quality assurance agencies, as well as to academics and other parties interested in higher education and its internationalisation.

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Executive summary

The Recommendation of the Council of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) concerning Guidelines for Quality Provision in Cross-Border Higher Education and of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Secretariat (hereafter the Recommendation) was developed to support and encourage international co-operation and enhance the understanding of the importance of quality provision in cross-border higher education. The purpose of the Recommendation is to protect students and other stakeholders from low-quality provision and disreputable providers (that is, degree and accreditation mills) as well as to encourage the development of quality cross-border higher education that meets human, social, economic and cultural needs. Cross-border higher education refers to the international mobility of students, faculty, programmes and institutions. The Recommendation was adopted by the OECD Council on 2 December 2005. OECD and UNESCO members are expected to implement it as appropriate in their national context.

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